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"I offered him a seat" - Stanford Intellectual Vitalilty Essay


jcp2335 1 / -  
Dec 9, 2010   #1
Not exactly sure if this works...please help revise. Also, it is a little too long so needs to be trimmed down. Thanks!

Prompt: Stanford students are widely known to posses a sense of intellectual vitality. Explain to us a time when you felt intellectually engaged.

It was a cold, snowy day, and therefore I was happy to hide out in a local, bustling café, grab a table near a heater, drink my scalding hot tea, and start the process of completing my ample amount of homework. After only a few minutes I noticed a boy, frantically searching for a seat. I recognized him as Mikey, a local artist in his early 20's, widely known as homeless townie and heroin addict. Despite this slightly disturbing reputation, I offered him a seat, as there were no available seats left in the café and he looked like he was almost to the point of hypothermia. He delightfully accepted, and quickly began to prod me for details on my life. As I explained the physics work I was attempting to complete, Mikey began to explain to me his theory on what life really is and how, in his mind, no physical reality exists. He believed that every person is really just a ball of energy, somewhat similar to String Theory, and that we create visual representations of a physical world as to distinguish between different balls of energy. Being that I am naturally science-oriented, I at first viewed Mikey's rambling skeptically and attributed it to his drug habit. But as I listened to him talk, I realized that actual reality of our existence isn't as concrete as most view it. As Mikey asked my opinion on the matter, I realized that it was something I had never actually thought about. We talked about this for over an hour, and it w one of the most stimulating conversations I have ever had. In a class room, teachers generally encourage students to understand the routes to an already established answer. My conversation with Mikey showed me that the most interesting, intellectually engaging topics are those with no solid answer, because these ideas force one to consider what they actually believe is plausible, rather than what a famous scientist has previously proven.

Supervisor 2 / 13  
Dec 9, 2010   #2
I just read for material and it seems to cover the prompt well!
I liked, "attributed it to his drug habit" and the last sentence, "My conversation with Mikey showed me that the most interesting, intellectually engaging topics are those with no solid answer, because these ideas force one to consider what they actually believe is plausible, rather than what a famous scientist has previously proven."

Ties up the essay well and the fact that you are talking about a random person off of the street, your so called homeless townie, makes me see that you are always intellectually engaged with everything you do!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,337 129  
Dec 19, 2010   #3
I don't think ample is a good word in that intro. It does not fit, because it means "plenty." Maybe you were including a hint of sarcasm, which is cool, but the reader might think you are just confused and trying to use a lot of fancy words.

He delightfully delightedly accepted, and quickly ...

here is a typo: and it w one of the ...

One word: classroom

Great topic!! Remember Descartes' "Cogito ergo sum." All we know is that we are having an conscious experience right now. We do not know if material reality makes consciousness possible or if consciousness existed first and is just having a dream about a world of form.
greensept375 3 / 5  
Dec 19, 2010   #4
Great essay!! If you can, I think you should incorporate that you did some research on your own about the theory Mikey told you. You already somewhat accomplished saying that Mikey's theory related to the String Theory, but maybe make that a bit more obvious. That way, the reader will know that you actually find this topic intellectually engaging. I really liked the conclusion!
gycjc0116 1 / 4  
Dec 20, 2010   #5
But as I listened to him talk, I realized that actual reality of our existence isn't as concrete as most view it. As Mikey asked my opinion on the matter, I realized that it was something I had never actually thought about

it sounds redundant...use different word choice :)
helloworld1 3 / 12  
Dec 20, 2010   #6
I think you could make ur intro shorter, especially the part about describing mikey. A more direct intro would do more justice to ur amazing essay!

And maybe you could go deeper into how u wrestled with the idea, while using mikey's discussion as a starting point.

Hope i helped (:


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